By Ch2 Sports Director Ed Kilgore
You know how they always ALWAYS say they got the guy they wanted? This time I actually believe the Bills got EXACTLY the guy they wanted in C.J. Spiller, taken with their 9th pick overall in the first round.
Want some excitement? That's C.J. Spiller, my friends.
Flash back to one of the first things offensive-minded head coach Chan Gailey said when he took the Bills job; I'd love to have a speedy running back who can run and catch and be a threat to go the distance at any time. At the Bills pre draft luncheon for the media, I actually brought that up to gm Buddy Nix, asking him if the fact Gailey wanted that type of back meant the Bills might take a shot at Clemson's C.J. Spiller. Spiller, I said, appears to be the carbon copy of the back Gailey wants for his football team.
Nix and scouting director Tom Modrak didn't even try to deny it then, and Spiller was probably their plan all along.
I can see why many Bills fans don't get this pick. The Bills clearly need a left tackle, and Anthony Davis of Rutgers and Bryan Bulaga of Iowa were still on the board, and the Bills need a nose tackle, and Dan Williams was there. They need a quarterback too, and Jimmy Clausen wasn't even taken in the first round at all.
Although the Broncos took Tim Tebow with the 25th pick in the first round, and the Bills really, really wanted Tebow, the Bills really needed a player who can make an impact right away. Nix even said that in his pre draft chat with the media, and he was true to his word.
Nix actually said it best; "we need some excitement". So true.
C.J. Spiller, who by the way is also a high character guy and a first team Academic All American, won't make the Bills a playoff contender this season. The fact is, there isn't one player in the draft who would do that at any position.
But Spiller can change a game at any time. He set an NCAA record by returning 8 kickoffs for touchdowns at Clemson. He'll be a great part of a 1-2 punch with Fred Jackson, and Gailey will find ways to get him in space with the football. One concern about Spiller is durability; he's about 5-11 and 195 and does come up with nagging injuries from time to time.
Oh. Did I forget to mention Marshawn Lynch? Is he still here? He was as this is being written, but there is no way in the world Lynch is on the roster when the Bills open against the Dolphins next September 12th.
But does anybody want to argue that the Bills in 2009 were not only a bad football team, they were a DULL football team.
Yes, they are rebuilding, but at least Spiller gives fans a reason to watch them while the Bills address their other needs.